We took a student group to Chechem Ha last weekend to do some field biology experiments, and to see all the wonderful sights it has to offer. We got there early in the morning, pitched tents in the camping area, and then walked around to higher ground, and checked out the new dam. Small, but impressive dam, and it was cool to see the concrete mixing facility that is now abandoned. After taking many pictures, we headed back to camp for lunch.
We then hiked down a trail, and a stream, the stream that flows right through the camp site, to get to the Macal river. They had a cute little 'beach,' but we all just dove in and swam for many hours. We hiked up and down the river, and found some great spots for swimming, tubing, diving, and hanging out. There were cascades all around, and some of the eddies would spin you around like a washing machine. Great time!
We set some nets for bird monitoring, talked about the river, and then headed back to camp. The walk back sure seemed longer than the walk to the river. They cooked us dinner there, and it was fantastic. Rice and beans never tasted so good, and the veggies on the side really hit the spot too. They also grew their own peppers that make habaneros seem like grapes. Try one if you dare. Everyone got as much food as they needed.
We had planned to hike the cave at night, but after lots of good grub, and some socializing, we decided that we'd come back another time since they are so close. We then went looking for frogs along the stream, for the research, and found quite a few. We created a camp fire, and talked with the proprietor, William, about life for a while, before calling it a night.
The next morning, they cooked us a great breakfast, with homemade rolls and all. Quite the meal. We checked for birds, finished up, and got ready to go. After packing up, we bid our farewells, and said we'd be back, and we will. I can't wait to go back and see the inside of the cave, but camping at Chechem Ha was an amazing experience that many of the kids will remember forever.